April 21, 2009 - Midwest League (MWL) - Quad Cities River Bandits
What started as a joke between friends quickly turned into an opportunity for the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Omaha Royals to raise money for the ALS Association, an official charity partner of Minor League Baseball.
When the dust settled, the eBay auction that featured the autographed Martie Cordaro baseball raised $105. Then each organization matched that sum - bringing the total raised to fight ALS to $315. To top it off, Omaha Royals President Alan Stein and River Bandits Owner Dave Heller each personally matched the donation - bringing the grand total raised to $525 - all to be donated to the ALS Association.
In the process of collecting autographed baseballs for the River Bandits\' Autographed Baseball Giveaway Night on May 20 at Modern Woodmen Park, Vice President and General Manager Kirk Goodman sent a request to his friend at the Triple-A Omaha Royals, Vice President and General Manager Martie Cordaro. Goodman asked Cordaro to send him some baseballs signed by Royals Triple-A prospects and future big leaguers. Cordaro complied, but he also included a personally autographed baseball with his name on it.
Continuing the joke, Goodman responded by putting the ball on ebay under the title, "Martie Cordero Autographed Baseball!!!" and touting the exploits of Cordaro, both personally and professionally. After noticing that the auction item was generating an unexpected amount of attention, the two GM\'s decided that both teams would match the winning bid and donate all of the money to the ALS Association. Not long after, Royals President/CEO Alan Stein and River Bandits Owner Dave Heller also agreed to match the winning bid as a donation to combat Lou Gehrig\'s disease.
"When this all started I was just having some fun, but I\'m glad this really took on a life of its own," said Goodman. "Martie has been a great sport and I\'m proud to say we have raised so much money for such a great cause."
"Due to the upcoming 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig\'s farewell speech that occurred on July 4, 1939, ALS Association awareness is at an all-time high," said Cordaro. "I am proud that Kirk was able to ridicule me enough to help raise more than $500 to fight ALS."
Both the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Omaha Royals are fervent supporters of the ALS Association and ran fundraisers to support them during the 2008 season.
UP NEXT: While the River Bandits head to Beloit this week for a four-game road series, on Tuesday Modern Woodmen Park will play host to NCAA Division I baseball for the first time with a match-up between the University of Iowa and Western Illinois.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Under new ownership and management in 2008, the Quad Cities River Bandits topped 207,000 fans for only the sixth time in team history and the first time in 12 years. Having recently completed one of the most successful seasons in the history of the franchise - and with a renewed dedication to fans, sponsors and the Quad Cities community - the return of the River Bandits has brought a resurgence of support for the team. BanditWear, season tickets and mini-plans, and individual game tickets are on sale for the 2009 season by calling (563) 3-BANDIT or heading to www.RiverBandits.com. But hurry - good seats are going fast!